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Monday, December 25, 2006

Postal employees denounce mail-dominated workplace

Alex Terrieur
La Lune de la presse internationale


A radical group of US Postal workers has joined together to denounce a workplace that they describe as "mail-dominated," despite recent efforts by Postal authorities to reduce the mail presence in offices around the country.

With the ever-increasing amount of electronic communications, the Postal service has experienced a decline in business and revenue over the last several years. Despite this, government employees of the Postal unions have banded together to decry the "exclusively mail environment" in which they find themselves.

"We feel like the Post Office should be expanding its horizons for the 21st century," said Washington based employee Dee Livhury. "If the USPS stays in the same frame of mind, of this '20th century mail-dominated' hierarchy, then they just won't be competitive in today's business environment."

Division supervisor Dean Eide balked at the claims, explaining that the USPS "can compete just fine, without the unsolicited opinions of certain minority extremists."

Regardless, the accusations serve to bolster claims of a faltering Postal service that is increasingly threatened by privatization and sub-contracting. Several teams of employees have organized activist groups, such as the Federal Employees for Modernization of International and National Interstate Service Mail (FEMINISM). They intend to lobby their traditional mail colleagues in positions of authority to enact change.

Moreover, FEMINISM advocates that more taxes and fees be placed on current mail service. This would be framed by a type of "fee-mail" service that would provide additional revenue for the cash-strapped USPS. By beginning a co-existing mail and fee-mail service, the USPS could bring itself into the 21st century, FEMINISM claims.

It is not clear whether FEMINISM or any new fee-mail would cause cost increases for the general public. Moreover, it would be imprudent, say Postal workers, to blame problems uniquely on FEMINISM or a certain type of revolutionary fee-mail.

"It's part of a larger context of change in society, due in part to the power of electronic communications," explained Livhury.

During the 2007 fiscal year, the USPS should work towards a goal of a mail and fee-mail system, where customers are better served by a modernized workplace.


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